Over the past year I have been amazed at (my perception of) the lack of intelligence in people I have met who claimed to be teachers. People whose writing, communication and people skills were so poor that I felt absolute pity for the children in their tutelage.
Well, Harvard may have taken a step in explaining this disturbing phenomenon. A recent article claims that the teaching profession is losing the smartest candidates and retaining the not-so-smart ones.
"...today's typical teacher is drawn from the bottom third of the distribution of people with baccalaureate degrees in the United States. Many of today's teachers were themselves rather poor students in secondary school."
"...among college graduates, many of the least motivated and able people go into teaching" (source)
A possible solution that has been discussed is to mirror other careers and offer pay incentives for teachers that excel. This would be more effective than an across the board raises, as it would weed out bad teachers by prompting them to quit as their pay remained low. As you may have guessed the Teacher's Union is completely against this.
...Maybe this is why so many teachers are against No Child Left Behind --they can't keep up with the work load...
(GREAT book about the Teacher's Union's (NEA) impact on the education system, by former Union Professional Linda Chavez: Betrayal)